Free mental health coaching is now available in North Eastern Victoria, a region that has experienced a challenging 18 months of natural disasters and the coronavirus pandemic.
Beyond Blue’s NewAccess is a six-session program delivered by Wellways offering practical advice on how to manage stress and cope with emerging mental health issues, including early signs of anxiety and depression.
Evidence shows that up to seven out of 10 people who use NewAccess recover from their symptoms.
The program complements existing clinical mental health supports in the community, is free, completely confidential and available in-person, over the phone or by video call.
NewAccess coaches live in the local community, operate with oversight from clinicians and are specially trained in Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, guiding people through a proven, evidence-based and personalised program.
The program is now available for people living in North East Victoria in the Mansfield, Alpine, Wangaratta, Indigo, Towong and Wodonga Local Government Areas.
NewAccess is of particular benefit to people living in rural and regional areas where mental health support can be limited, and participants do not require a referral from a doctor or health professional.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said NewAccess provides a great starting point for people feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed about everyday life issues.
“NewAccess is designed to help people identify the source of pressure and stress in their lives and provide practical ways they can respond so things don’t get worse,” Ms Harman said.
“NewAccess is designed to break down the harmful stigma associated with mental health conditions and other barriers that can prevent people from seeking support early. The team of NewAccess coaches looks forward to working with the people of North Eastern Victoria.”
Wellways CEO Laura Collister said: “North East Victorian communities have experienced more than their fair share of hardships, particularly over the last two years. Locals recognise the need for a service like NewAccess in their communities and the response to train locals to become coaches has been overwhelming. I would encourage anyone seeking this practical mental health support to make contact with NewAccess.”
NewAccess has been rolled out in parts of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the ACT since 2013, providing support to more than 16,000 people.